LANCASTER, Pa. – The Franklin & Marshall women's lacrosse team scored early and often during its second round game of the NCAA Division III National Tournament, recording a 20-6 victory over Stevenson on Sunday afternoon. Those 20 goals marked just third time F&M has reached the mark in an NCAA Tournament game, with the other instances being a 21-3 win against Rhoades in 2015 and a 21-1 victory versus Mary Washington en route to the program's first national title in 2007.
Those 20 goals came from 12 different players as the Diplomats raced out to an 8-1 lead after 15 minutes and won all four quarters to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. Lydia Cassilly led the team with four goals in her NCAA debut, while Gillian Brennan added three goals and one assist. Maddy Birch, Sydney Lowe, and Ally Marino also had multiple goals throughout the victory.
Franklin & Marshall scored the first five goals of Sunday's contest. In addition to the multi-goal scorers, Marissa McGarrey added her name to the scoresheet early in first quarter. Brennan closed the first period action with two goals during the final four-plus minutes, with Kate McLam also getting on the board during that time. The varied Diplomat attack continued into the second quarters as Marino, Cassilly, Birch, and Lowe helped to give the team a 12-4 lead at the break.
The Diplomats certainly did not rest on their laurels during the second half as they outscored the visiting Mustangs 8-2 over the final 30 minutes. Cassilly added two more goals in the third quarter before Brennan capped her hat trick. Megan Bizub and Lane Lambeth also got their first goals of the tournament during that period as F&M had extended its lead to double digits by the 5:38 mark of the third quarter.
F&M's lead grew to 20-5 when Adde Hollander, Lauren Van Buren, and Ava Turner rattled the back of the cage for the first time on Sunday during the eventual 20-6 final score. The Diplomats finished the contest with a 40-17 advantage in shots on goal as goalie Emily Kitchin was called on to make three saves in 45 minutes of action before Alyssa Moran made two more stops during the final period.
The Diplomats were a perfect 3-for-3 in free-position shots and held the Mustangs to just 10-of-18 on their clearing attempts. In addition to scoring a goal, Turner had a team-leading two caused turnovers and three draw controls. Madison Bray matched her teammate with three draw controls of her own throughout the contest.
With its win on Sunday, F&M advances to play Ithaca College next Saturday. Ithaca is ranked No. 10 in the country during the most recent ILWomen/IWLCA National Top 25 poll. No. 3 Tufts and No. 23 Pomona-Pitzer will be the other half of the Diplomats' four-team regional. The regional semifinals and finals will be held on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22. Locations and times of those contests will be announced by the NCAA in the coming days.